What follows is relatively typical for one of my work days. Not everything happening within the same 6 hour stretch, but not all that unusual, either. Yes, St. Angus in the Grass School is a little different.
It started with sunrise. Bright stars and a brilliant moon shone down as I took my morning walk, but by 0700 clouds had appeared, especially in the east. The entire eastern sky had a crimson to pink wash over it by 0715, and as I left town and got onto the county road leading to the school, I could see the storm towers to the west also turning cream and red, with blue-grey beneath, and mist over the playas and low places. As I turned into the drive leading to the school proper, I mused about red skies, which led to thoughts of birds, and how I had not seen as many hawks in the fall as in the spring.
During my off period, a student came in to return my copy of Machiavelli’s The Prince and the First Decade of Livy. The students had read excerpts, but he was curious about the entire book so I had checked it out to him. “Was it what you expected?”
“Not exactly. Miss Red, but I took lots of notes and I learned a lot.” He had a gleam in his eye. Student council elections are in two weeks, and I wondered if I should perhaps maybe warn the Student Council advisor and Dean about this. Nah. Not unless he starts humming “I have a little List.”
A few minutes after he left, I opened the blinds and saw a bit of a rainbow being thrown against the storm rain to the west. That was interesting. I closed the blinds (school safety policy).
Just before the next class I opened the blinds again to see if the rain had come closer. As I watched, a large hawk, probably a Red Tailed hawk, flapped past at window level. It was one of those “Hey, that’s big. My, hello hawk. Eagle? No probably hawk.” Closed blinds. Unless it was a juvenile Golden Eagle, which we have had pass through from time to time.
Due to an illness, I ended up covering the 6th grade world religion class. They don’t know me (yet), so I put my name on the board and started handing out papers. Then I read the instructions their usual teacher had left for them, and added, “And if you really misbehave, I’ll turn you into a frog.” And kept right on going. I could tell that a few of the students wondered if I was serious, and two or three thought I was. The trick is to keep a straight face and just mention things like that as if it is part of normal classroom policy. Also works on a lot of adults.
I went home just after noon and was working on another project when the phone rang. The caller ID warned me that it was the office, and I picked it up. As I did, I heard the secretary saying, ” . . . says it is in her brain and it affects how she thinks and functions. Hello?”
I replied, “Yes, it does, but chocolate helps a lot.”
She laughed and said no, she’d been talking to a teacher about a student, and could I come in in two weeks to cover for someone who was going to his son’s promotion ceremony at Ft. Drum?
And so another day in the life of a teacher and writer goes by.